- Daniela Jiménez
Sargasso based housing
Climate change is one of the most resonating and important problems we're facing as a society. Droughts, rain storms, elevating temperature and the threat against natural ecosystems are a consequence of the lack of care we've had with out planet. One of the most known problems in Caribbean beaches, specially in Quintana Roo, is a sargasso plague that has affected tourism and the lifestyle of those who live there that's why they hace decided to clean almost to exhaustion their beaches.
They have collected near of 60 tons of sargasso from their coasts and one of the questions that has risen from this problem is ¿now what do we do with all this? They have been searching for a way to use it in their favor and through investigation, it has been discovered that it can be used as a raw material for biodigesteres, cosmetics, plastic, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals. One of the most recent discoveries has been that it can be used to benefit Quintana Roo's population.
Blue-Green from Puerto Morelos's founder, Omar Vázquez Sánchez, presented a house that was built in only 15 days using sargasso. Vázquez comments that the idea came up 6 years ago when he notices the cyclic presence of the plague in Quintana Roo's coasts, he started searching for ways in which it could be used by using a mixture of adobe and sargasso that was strong. The UNAM ran trials on the mixture in order to establish if it was strong enough to survive earthquakes and hurricanes winds, they were pleased to report that the mixture passed their tests with flying colors.
Considering the enormous presence of sargasso throughout the zone and the contamination cement manufacturing produces, they realized that this house was a great option since it used 50% less resources than what a social interest house takes to build. It also proved to have unique thermal qualities that set it apart; "The main objective of the house is to contribute to people that have scarce resources and provide them with homes, that's the main reason we have approached private institutions, state government and ONGs, among others so that they donate a household and families living in marginalized zones are benefited.", commented Omar Vázquez Sánchez.
This house represents a social action in which natural phenomena that are occurring as a consequence of planet neglect, result beneficial to the population. This initiative has managed to attract the attention of several companies and constructors, they have been trying to take the innovation to a greater scale and apply it to all sustainable developments. It has also helped as a propulsion engine that invites people to take interest in natural phenomena and transform the way architecture tackles social problems in which it can incide in a beneficial way for the population and environment.